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AIT Director W. Brent Christensen’s Remarks at vGCTF on Trade Secrets Protection and Digital Piracy Prevention
June 17, 2021



Minister of Justice Tsai, Deputy Foreign Minister Tseng, Deputy Chief Representative Hoshino, distinguished panelists and audience members, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this workshop on trade secrets protection and digital piracy prevention held under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework or GCTF.

AIT has a long history of positive cooperation with Taiwan on the protection of intellectual property rights, including just last year for our first ever GCTF workshop on IPR.  That workshop was well-attended and received high marks from participants, leading us all to agree that a follow-on event this year would be well received.

Taiwan’s progress on IPR protection has been truly remarkable, and we believe that Taiwan, Japan, and the United States each have tremendous knowledge and experience to share today.  We recognize that the range of IPR protection development represented among the audience of this workshop varies greatly, but I am confident that everyone will find something of value in today’s discussion.

As I have mentioned previously, IPR protection is one of the “Four I’s” that we have identified as a virtuous cycle of economic development in today’s competitive global system, namely Interaction, IPR protection, Investment, and Innovation.

Interaction with other economies is of course the first step; no economy can develop in isolation.  Today’s workshop is a good example of the value we place in the exchange of ideas.  While most of the economies participating in this workshop have figured this out, there are still obstacles to interaction that we must overcome, including the concerted effort from some economies to shut out others from the global system.  Which is why the GCTF can be such a valuable platform for Taiwan to share its impressive experience and expertise.

IPR protection is the second “I” and is the key ingredient to motivating your own inventors and entrepreneurs, while attracting the attention of multinational corporations.  Patents and trademarks are of course major considerations, but today and tomorrow we will focus on copyright and trade secret protection.  From artists to engineers, every aspect of a modern economy relies on adequate and appropriate IPR protection.

With these protections in place, attracting foreign investment, our third “I”, becomes possible.  U.S. firms have learned through sometimes bitter experience that IPR protection must be a top consideration for making investment decisions.

With interaction, IPR protection, and investment, the fourth “I” of innovation can flourish, as creators and innovators know that their hard work and unique ideas will be rewarded.  And innovation leads to more innovation, attracting talent from all over the world to places like Silicon Valley, Hsinchu, and Tokyo.

We have gathered a number of experts to share their knowledge and experiences with you over the next two days.  I hope that you can take the lessons that you learn and bring them into your work to promote the Four I’s of interaction, IPR protection, investment, and innovation that will make each of our economies stronger as we develop the global economy for the modern era.

I’ll close by saying that we often talk about the foundation for the U.S.-Taiwan relationship being our shared values.  These shared values go beyond our shared democratic values, and include our shared economic values, such as support of free markets, innovation, entrepreneurship, and respect for IPR.  I hope today’s workshop will help you better understand how those economic values enrich communities and economies.

Thank you.